Technologies of Wonder by Susan Delagrange

The Female Wunderkammer

Abigail Linhardt

Technologies of Wonder by Susan Delagrange is a bold trip down the rabbit hole that is electronic rhetoric and media. Despite the the mode of delivery electronic publication, the book gives off a very old “cogs and gears” kind of feeling. This feeling is implemented by the visuals Delegrange uses: scans of eighteenth century anatomy books, photographs of Joseph Cornell’s boxes, pictures of artifacts like Celtic knots and marble statues. All are old, dusty, and create a feeling of curiosity with them. The pages of the book itself are like looking into one of Cornell’s boxes or through the doors of cabinet of curiosity.  
The book is two-fold with its theories: it argues first that visual presentation should be used more in academic and professional work. It also tried to quell some of the fear that older practitioners and the less technologically inclined may associate with multimedia. The second theory that is less fleshed out than the first only makes an appearance a few times: that digitized bodies (or spaces) could have a hand in furthering the feminist fight for equality and create a more level playing field for women and other minorities; Delegrange argues the anonymity that comes with digital spaces is an equalizer.